A fascinating if troublesome career.

Alejandro Jodorowsky has endured a fascinating if troublesome career.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono loved his third film, El Topo, so much that they encouraged Beatles manager Allen Klein to arrange its distribution in the States. Lennon and Ono went one better for Holy Mountain by financing what was reported to be the most expensive Mexican production to date. However, an argument with Klein over the ownership of these two films meant that neither have been available on DVD via official channels until now. Jodorowsky’s version of Dune (later made by David Lynch) collapsed due to funding issues (with allegations being rife that elements of the film resurfaced in Stars Wars and Alien).

The Jodorowsky Collection compiles El Topo, Holy Mountain and Fando & Lis alongside a vast array of extras. El Topo is the only of the three films with a basis in a conventional genre, the spaghetti western, but all three share similar traits; a sensory overload of rich, invigorating visuals, a flood of religious symbolism and a quest for something more; enlightenment (El Topo), immortality (Holy Mountain) and a cure for paralysis (Fando & Lis).

Jodorowsky’s strength lies in his individuality and ability to capture imagery both eerily surreal and serenely beautiful. Whilst Fando & Lis falls short of the standard of the other two films (also available as individual DVD releases), Jodorowsky’s vision never fails to amaze.

Follow Clash: